Many decisions go into starting your business and being your own boss. At AAI, we’re here to help you avoid the amateur, first-time mistakes going independent.
One of the most common mistakes comes when people start setting their own schedule. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean that you don’t need to work your butt off and spend time at the “office” building your business, your brand, your client base. Even if you set up your office at home. You need to have the discipline to work hard and resist the temptation to take long “business lunches” with friends just because no one is around to tell you to get back to work. Or give in to the temptation of an afternoon nap (for 2 hours) or a mid-morning jog that becomes an all day exercise splurge…
Flexibility in your schedule is a beautiful thing, but it can also be a dangerous thing that can ruin your goals for your own business.
It’s the same problem a lot of us run into when we first get to college and realize that no one is is taking attendance anymore. Before you know it you’re sleeping in instead of attending your morning classes and by the time the exams roll around, you’re way behind. Don’t make this mistake with your own business.
Friends and family need to pay for services, too!
When you’re first building a client base, the first people you reach out to are friends and family to support you, frequent your establishment, buy your product or sign up for your service. This is where you need to be strong and live by the saying “it’s not personal, it’s business”. Your closest friends, even your own mother, will try to get out of paying. You need to charge for your products and services. A discount here and there is fine, but in the early stages of starting your own business you need money, you can’t afford to give things away for free.
Take in the good with the bad
You also need to take chances, be fearless, trust your gut, and be patient. This is your business, your vision, your dream. You’ve worked hard to develop the right skills to take the plunge into independent business ownership, you need to fight to make it a success. In any industry, you’ll likely face a lot of rejection and setbacks. It’s a natural part of finding your legs and starting something new. It takes time for new clients to trust you, your products and your services. Not only is it important to trust your gut in tough times, but it is equally important to celebrate the successes, no matter how small. You need to take the good with the bad equally. Slowly, but surely, the good will start to outweigh the bad and one happy customer will spread like a ripple in the water bringing in more and more potential clients.
And when you’re stuck in a rut or the rejections seem endless, and you need a helping hand, that’s when your network of like-minded insurance agents can help pick you up and get you back on track. Drawing from the experience of others is invaluable to a new business owner or independent agent.